Cyflwynwyd gan:Cllr. Ioan Thomas
the proposed new Digital Plan for the period 2023-28.
The report was submitted by Cllr Ioan Thomas.
To approve the proposed new Digital Plan for
the period 2023-28.
It was explained that the period of the previous Digital Strategy had ended
in 2018 and, therefore, the Council did not have a digital plan at present.
Despite this, members were reminded that the Council had adopted the Gwynedd
Schools Digital Strategy in recent years.
It was reported that a large number of projects
had been included within the Digital Plan submitted to the Cabinet and that
these were projects that took place on a cross-departmental level to ensure a
standard resource for everyone.
It was explained that a Digital Transformation Board had been formed to
keep an overview on the progress of the work programme. The Corporate Director
was the Chair of the Board. It was elaborated that four sub-groups had been
established with the guidance of different departments, which included:
Sub-group – led by Gwyn Jones, Infrastructure Systems Manager
Contact Sub-group – led by Steffan Jones, Head of Highways, Engineering and YGC
and Data Sub-group – led by Ian Jones, Head of Corporate Support Department
and Business Systems Sub-group – led by Huw Ynyr,
Assistant Head of Finance and Information Technology
It was ensured that the priorities presented within the plan corresponded
with what the Council Plan delivered. It was reported that considerations such
as equality, the Welsh language and climate had been considered when drawing up
Members were reminded that this item had been submitted before Members of
the Education and Economy Scrutiny Committee and their observations had been
considered prior to submitting the Plan to the Cabinet.
It was confirmed that a total of 29 projects had been included within the
plan and these fell into five priority areas as discussed below:
1. Customer Contact – it was planned to
significantly develop communication methods by developing the website and phone
systems as well as making use of apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger. The need
to develop and promote ApGwynedd was noted along with
the video kiosk in Siop Gwynedd in conjunction with
ensuring consistency when paying for services via machines.
2. Information and Data – it was explained that
several different departments and systems stored data. It was detailed that a
number of these systems stored the same type of information. It was noted that
this was an opportunity to ensure that data was accurate and that it was stored
in one place, to ensure accuracy.
3. Business Systems and Administration –
it was detailed that the aim of this priority area was to ensure that the
Council's internal services operated efficiently, to improve digital inclusion
(by reducing the use of paper) and to research how artificial intelligence
could be introduced to the Council carefully and successfully.
4. Workforce – it was intended to
introduce a digital account to every staff member. It was noted that this was
necessary for staff to gain access to a number of
things, which included training and pay slips. It was explained that about a
third of the entire Council workforce had their own digital account at present.
5. Resilience – this field detailed schemes
to upgrade analogue lines to digital, to ensure digital security and service
continuity in every situation. It was also explained that there were plans to
upgrade the broadcasting provision in the Council Chambers to continue to hold
multi-location and bilingual meetings.
It was acknowledged that introducing a number of new digital schemes could
cause concern to some people but it was assured that
training and opportunities would be offered to everyone in order to understand
any new system introduced.
It was noted that the Council and several other organisations were very
reliant on the 'Microsoft' company to maintain services. It was explained that
the Council used the company's systems such as 'Office' and 'Outlook' but it was also noted that other systems, such as WCCIS in
the field of care, also relied on it, therefore, it would be costly to part
ways with this American company.
It was accepted that artificial intelligence was an update that caused concern to some, but members were assured that the Council would make the best use of it, ensuring that it was used carefully. It was confirmed that an information booklet was being designed by the government to ensure that proper, appropriate and safe use was made of the technology.
Awdur:Huw Ynyr: Assistant Head of Finance and Information Technology